Market Report
12.04.2020

Surf Coast: 2020 Market Wrap

How has property on the Surf Coast performed over 2020 and what should you expect in 2021?

Last month we wrote about the five trends we’ve observed specifically impacting Surf Coast property prices, including record low-interest rates, an increase in first home buyers, tree and sea changers, low stock levels driving up property prices and a tight rental market.

In this market summary, we look at what the latest data tells us about the state of the market, as well as how our property market fits into the bigger picture of real estate prices in a post-COVID-19 world.

A year of fluctuating consumer confidence

With two lockdowns and many ups and downs, 2020 has been a challenging year for most Victorians. We’ve had to adapt to new ways of doing things: social distancing, quarantine, face masks, state and federal border closures, business closures, COVID tests, staff layoffs and plenty of hand sanitizer.

It’s no surprise that consumer confidence across the country took a nosedive in April, hitting a low of 79.8 according to Roy Morgan. Since then it has slowly but steadily risen, hitting 104 in November.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Confidence shows that consumer confidence is now tracking 13% above the average over the six months before the March shutdown. And it’s little surprise that the same index reveals Victoria’s consumer confidence grew 9% once restrictions began to ease.

Importantly for us, Westpac’s research also showed the “time to buy a dwelling” index jumped to a high not seen since 2013. House price expectation also increased – a very positive sign indeed.

A fast market rebound

Consumer confidence isn’t the only thing that’s bounced back this year.

Global research by Domain shows that cities and towns with tougher lockdowns tend to have a pronounced spike in their property market once restrictions are lifted. This is particularly true for Melbourne, which had the strongest recovery of any Australian city after its second lockdown.

While data showed Melbourne’s weekly listings dropped by up to 70% over August and September, they’d bounced back by 241% once these restrictions eased in October. The state of the housing market prior to lockdown also tends to have an impact on the size and speed of a market rebound, with economists saying the better it was before restrictions were introduced, the bigger the bounceback is likely to be.

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Our area is growing

Although the Surf Coast is a distinct market in its own right, it can’t be viewed in isolation. It’s important to note what’s happening just along the road in Geelong, our nearest large regional centre, as well as regional Victoria generally.

And, on this front, it’s looking very good.

When the REA Insights Regional Australia Report was released last month it showed that Geelong’s population was growing. So were the populations of many other centres within striking distance of Melbourne like Ballarat, Bendigo and Latrobe-Gippsland.

Geelong’s population has increased by 14% over the past five years, making it Australia’s fastest growing regional centre prior to COVID-19. This growth has been assisted by initiatives such as the Geelong City Deal, as well as generous grants for regional first home buyers.

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Announcing the findings, REA chief economist, Nerida Conisbee, revealed that the region’s median house price has climbed 43 per cent over the past five years to $610,000. She said that the development of new homes had stopped prices in Geelong from rising too quickly and becoming “catastrophically high”. Nerida Conisbees also said that its short drive to our Surf Coast beaches is likely to power the Geelong area’s population growth into the future.

What does this mean for the Surf Coast?

The report shows that the long-term trend of people moving from cities to the commutable regions has only grown during the pandemic. This includes our very own Surf Coast.

We’re witnessing this increased demand first hand as professionals working in Melbourne and Geelong are increasingly looking for a change of lifestyle. Many of these people are working from home part of the week and commuting the other part but a lot are also commuting into the Melbourne CBD.

Interestingly, data from realestate.com.au showed that it was lovely Jan Juc that topped the list for the highest views per listing by suburb in all of regional Victoria, post COVID-19 (defined as April to September 2020).

The median house price in Jan Juc is $933,000 and each listing received an average of 7,056 views on realestate.com.au. To put this huge demand in perspective, the average for views per listing for Victoria is 1,431.

Given this incredible level of demand, it’s likely that prices on the Surf Coast will continue to lift over 2021.

The data

Here’s how property has performed on the Surf Coast over 2020.

Torquay
Houses median property price: $840,000
Houses median weekly rent: $525
Units median property price: $650,000
Units median weekly rent: $465
Vacancy rate: 0.39%

Anglesea
Houses median property price: $995,000
Houses median weekly rent: $475
Vacancy rate: 0.1%

Jan Juc
Houses median property price: $934,000
Houses median weekly rent: $490
Vacancy rate: 0.1%

Further information?

If you’re looking to buy or sell on Victoria’s Surf Coast contact me for further information.